Friday, March 25, 2022

7 Quick Takes about Hot Dog Trees, What's for Dinner When Dad's Out of Town, and Why Adults Nag Everyone about Wasting Electricity All the Time

It's 7 Quick Takes Friday! How was your week?


I was assembling a crew to clean up our kitchen and asked my 10-year-old to come in and get to work. "For how long?" she wanted to know.

"It depends on how many people from our family come to help," I answered.

The 13-year-old looked at me and said, "Wait. So you're telling her it'll take less time if she's there, but if she doesn't come she doesn't have to be there at all?"

"Hush up, you," I snapped, and handed him a washcloth. You can trust a teenager to point out your faulty logic every time.


My daughter had to stay home from school one day this week (now that masks are off at school, someone is always sick with something around here, although it hasn't ever been COVID.) She felt better after throwing up, but she still had to miss the next day because she needed to be symptom-free for 24 hours before going back.

Since she felt fine, we tried to make the most of the unexpected day. For lunch, we decided to bike to this random hot dog stand a mile from our house that we've always seen but never visited. 

As we were getting ready to leave, she mixed up her words and said "I'm excited to go to the hot dog farm!" So for the rest of the ride we were joking about hot dog buns that grew in the ground like root vegetables and bushes with ketchup and mustard berries. 

We never did see any once we got there, though.


Phillip and the 17-year-old were slated this week to fly to my daughter's new college campus for a few days to check the place out. I was excited for them to go, and the younger kids were excited because when Phillip is out of town I let them eat junk dinners instead of cooking something real with vegetables.

Due to some unfortunate scheduling circumstances, though, they had to cancel the trip at the last minute.

"Was she disappointed?" my 10-year-old asked me.

"Honestly, I think I was more disappointed!" I said.

She furrowed her brow and answered, "Well, I'm the most disappointed because now we don't get to have cereal night!!"

Luckily for her, though, Phillip ended up going on an overnight work trip so we had cereal night, after all.


The 15-year-old is also starting to look into colleges. Her violin teacher recommended some schools with good music programs, and she was working her way down the list.

She was reading the costs for one particular university out loud to me: "It's broken down into categories: room and board, meals, books, tuition, tuition fee... wait. 'Tuition fee?' I have to pay them to pay them?"

One of my favorite things about having teenagers are those moments when they look at me with a horrified "is adulthood really like this?" face, and I can finally pat them on the shoulder and smile, "Now you know why Dad and I are the way we are."


When I did my first round of serious decluttering at home, I purposely turned a blind eye to my stacks and stacks of photo albums from the pre-digital days because I was too overwhelmed to deal with them. This week, I finally got motivated. 

Like all of you, I have 20-year-old landscape photos that I have no idea where they came from. 

I have photos of people who weren't close to me and I don't even remember the names of. 

I have blurry photos of nothing and pictures that are multiple shots of essentially the exact same thing. 

I know it's controversial to cull your sentimental items, but I know if I curate the truly important photos of my life into one album with captions explaining their importance, it would actually be something I'd enjoy taking out and looking at with the kids. 

It would be something they might actually want someday after I'm gone, instead of junk that would languish in their attics because they felt too guilty to throw out mom's stuff.

Plus, I've been organizing the photos I'm not keeping into piles to send to relatives. I'm sure my aunts and uncles will be thrilled to get some surprise 30-year-old pictures of their kids in the mail, which makes me happy to imagine.

As I was working on my photos, I was joking with Phillip, "I'm getting my affairs in order! Next is my huge stash of journals, and then it'll be all set. In 5 years, I'll be ready to die. Ahead of schedule!"

He just looked at me and said something like, "I don't think you understand what the point of life is."

Well, his lifetime memorabilia is tossed in a disorganized heap in a diaper box in the closet, so I'm taking his criticism with a grain of salt.


When the kids have a half-day at school, which happens about twice a month, our traditional lunch when they all come home is soft pretzles. I make the dough and then when they come home, they roll them into shapes.

The kids are getting creative as they get older. Harry Potter symbols and letters that spell out funny things are their favorites, but I was partial to this sea turtle and poop emoji:

I'm not that creative, though, and if it's up to me I just make the standard old pretzel knot shape.


This year in church, we're studying the Old Testament of the Bible and I have a little workbook-style study guide that I use with the 5- and 7-year-old. It's highly entertaining.

Right now we're talking about Moses being called by the Lord and given the massive task of convincing Pharaoh to let the Israelites go. As you can imagine, Moses felt completely inadequate for the job.

My 5-year-old summarized it this way:

Q: What did the Lord explain to Moses that He wanted Moses to do?
A: Told Moses to talk to Pharaoh.
Q: How did Moses respond?
A: Wut.

To be fair, that would probably be my response, too.

Studying this part of the Old Testament has made me realize that I've never seen the 1956 The Ten Commandments, and it's such a classic piece of cinema I pretty much have to, right?

Now if I can only find a spare 3 hours and 40 minutes...

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Diana Dye said...

I loooove the old Ten Commandments movie. As a kid, they used show it every Easter on TV and it was the ONE exception to no watching TV on Sundays. And with commercials it was probably 4 hours.

We are watching The Prince of Egypt tonight as a family but now I kinda watch the 10 Commandments now that you bring it up.

My baby and childhood pictures are in a gallon ziploc bag. My mom ran out of steam putting pictures into albums long before I came along (7/8 kids). But I can't blame her because she handed me the bag 12 years ago and there they still are.

Lux - About Life and Love blog said...

A lot has changed in the past years. Gone are the days we still go to school even when we're not feeling well. I mean I remember doing that decades ago. Now it's so different. I hope your daughter is feeling much better by now.

I love what Moses responded. I would probably say that too. Lol!